*UPDATE: The SFC Site X is now open to the public. Check it out today!*
Since 2013, The SFC Group has been dedicated to producing quality content for everyone to enjoy, and making our work environment and communities the safest place to be. However, in recent years (starting in 2017), we had been struggling to work on new content, due to the recent incidents that involved drama, hate speech, harassment, and of course, our failed SFC-Aclevo merger. We won't get into much detail about this, but it had a bit of a profound effect on us as an organization.
Although most of the issues have since been resolved, it was simply not enough, and it was clear to us that we were not able to continue supporting our organization as it's currently structured.
So, in the wake of these recent events, we are making sweeping changes to our organization to help improve our image and communication with our fans, in a new era we dub "The SFC Group Revival".
As part of this revival, we will be launching an all-new website, reorganizing our YouTube channel, radically improving our live show and video format and layout, and more, that we hope to keep permanent for years to come.
So, without further ado, let's begin:
1. The SFC Site will be completely redesigned from the ground-up. Since Adobe recently announced the discontinuation of website-building software Muse, we've decided to jump ship after almost 3 years of use, and start fresh with Mobirise, designed for making mobile-responsive websites.
So, as you may have guessed, we are announcing The SFC Site X, our biggest website upgrade ever, now designed with Mobirise!
The SFC Site X includes many new features and changes from the previous site: First off, it has an all-new design, and is now 100% mobile-friendly, so you shouldn't expect any more issues with the mobile site. Since all of The SFC Site will be rebuilt from scratch with Mobirise, some parts of the site will be missing upon launch, such as our Music and Technology Showdown pages.
The homepage will be redesigned from the ground-up, so it looks much cleaner. We've also added a new "Featured Video This Week" section onto the homepage, where each weekend you can discover new video content from us or our team members!
Like we said before, all the pages have been rebuilt from scratch; some of them have been redesigned from the previous SFC Site releases: The series and downloads page have both been redesigned, along with the wallpaper downloads page, in which our wallpapers are now in a 4K resolution.
Finally, we've moved the social bar, and About Us and Contact page links to the bottom of the website, and we've added Patreon to the Social Bar as well.
The SFC Site X will officially launch on May 1st, 2018. Also, as part of The SFC Site X announcement, we have today reopened The SFC Blog with an all-new design, and all the polls will be moved over to the Live page of our new website, once ready.
2. SFC Live will be more focused on being discussion-based. Since October 2016, SFC Live had been a gaming show from the get-go, with viewer interaction along the way. However, as we ever expand our Twitch sector, we want to increase viewership of our Twitch streams with more gaming, so we have made the decision to scale the gaming segments down, and focus more on discussing topics.
To start off, we are debuting a new segment after SFC Live Trivia, we'd like to call "TopicTalk", where we discuss about certain topics from across the world, whether it would be related to tech, gaming, entertainment, or retail. On our Discord server, a new "TopicTalk" channel has been added to the "SFC Live" section, designed for that segment.
What about SFC Live Trivia? That segment will continue only on SFC Live, but starting in early Summer 2018, SFC Live Trivia will no longer have multiple rounds and giveaways to the winner, but the gameplay will remain the same.
Tech Selections of the Week and the Q&A/Open Topic segments will remain the same, and Quick Links will now be reserved ONLY for the viewers.
SFC Live will return with a new format/layout on Friday, May 4th, 2018. Afterwards, there will be NO SFC Live for the next 2 weeks. SFC Live Trivia Game 3, the last game with multiple rounds and a giveaway to the winner, will end on May 26th, 2018.
3. 'SFC on Twitch' is being renamed to 'SFC Live Gaming'. In January of 2018, we began streaming on Twitch, as part of an effort to expand our presence. The main focus of course, was gaming, but we had fallen behind schedule when it came to streaming on Twitch. That will change, however.
Starting today, 'SFC on Twitch' is being rebranded to 'SFC Live Gaming', and will be rescheduled to Friday nights, instead of Monday nights, at 7PM Eastern/6PM Central/12AM UK Time. This means all of our live shows are now reserved for weekends only.
So what will SFC Live Gaming have to offer? Well, it's going to be similar to the gaming segments we used to do on SFC Live, but we will be expanding it with more party games, as well as single player games and even games played on a video game console or emulator.
SFC Live Gaming will also no longer have a fixed end time, rather a fixed amount of games (3 to 4) we play instead, and at the end of the show, we'll have a brief Q&A.
Finally, our Twitch page has been updated with an agenda for our next SFC Live Gaming stream, and our Discord server has been updated with a new "SFC Live Gaming" chatroom, in case you don't want to use Twitch's built-in chat or you don't have a Twitch account (we still recommend following us on Twitch however to get notified of future SFC Live Gaming shows!)
SFC Live Gaming will premiere only on Twitch on May 25th, 2018.
Follow us on Twitch today to get notified of future SFC Live Gaming streams from us:
4. The majority of our video content will be upgraded to 1080p HD, with some exciting changes along the way. We've wanted to focus on this point for quite some time, but we haven't been able to take full advantage of it until now. Starting early this Summer, with the last of our 720p videos uploaded, we'll be making the full switch to 1080p HD. Since the quality will be upgraded, they will look much better on quad HD displays, especially on HDTVs. But of course, that's not all we're doing:
- Our Tech video series: The Software Room, The Computer Cellar, and The Electronics Guide, will all be getting format/layout changes. These changes will take effect following the release of The Software Room review on Windows 2.x, which will be the last tech video published in 720p.
- SFC Plays Games is getting an overhaul. Following the release of our Fibbage let's play (our last let's play video published in 720p), we will no longer be publishing SFC Live (and SFC Live Gaming) excerpts, and all future SFC Plays Games episodes will be in 1080p HD, sometimes in 60fps.
- SFC Reviews has been renamed to 'GameGuide'. Following the release of the review of the Donner Pass Scenario Pack for DTG's Train Simulator, all new episodes will get an improved format and upgraded to 1080p HD. As well as that, all SFC Reviews episodes have been rebranded to 'GameGuide', where we will cover namely video games (besides just simulation), as well as other game-related media topics, such as animated TV shows based on video games.
- SFC Plays Train Simulator has officially come to an end. Yes, you heard us right: our normal let's play videos of Dovetail Games' Train Simulator have officially ended. Why, you may ask? Mainly because we've been uploading too many of them, and that doesn't fit our tagline really well. Also, viewership for our recent let's play videos have decreased, which also means a lack of interest in continuing on our part.
So, does this mean SFC Plays TS is dead? For normal use, yes. However, there will be exceptions, such as the yearly releases and other editions (TS2019, Special Editions, etc.) but other than that, new workshop scenario and/or DLC playthroughs will no longer be uploaded to this channel starting today.
As well as that, our last planned Train Simulator Month (Train Sim Month 2018) has officially been cancelled, but that doesn't mean all of it will go down the gutter for good.
The now-canned SFC Plays Train Simulator (and the remnants of TS Month) will be revived under the now-independent RoadRailer Simulations organization (operated by Sage and StevenJam) under a new name: RRS World Tour. However, we won't have time to cover that here, so if you want to learn more about that, The RRS Blog has you covered.
As for SFC Plays Train Sim World, that series is still continuing; we have new let's plays planned (mainly the Great Western Express DLC showcase), but that'll have to wait until early Summer at the latest.
- Technology Showdown: The Prologue is now officially back in pre-production! After a long (and painful) hiatus, The Prologue is finally back in pre-production! We are in the process of finalizing the script and voice actors to be featured in it, before we can officially start storyboarding the actual episode. The release date for it however is still "to be announced'.
- 'The Misadventures of Apple & Tux' has been renamed to 'Technology Showdown Misadventures'. The next episode, "Introducing Windows" is currently in pre-production and has its release date pushed to Summer 2018.
- RailVids and RailFacts have now merged into the Railfan Central name. This is to simplify the series as a whole. Following the release of the EMD GP38-2 episode (the last Railfan Central video published in 720p), new episodes uploaded will have a new format, and will be in 1080p HD and (for some episodes) the first time on this channel: 4K.
- The former SFC Editorial videos are being split into our current video series. Since we canned our editorial series, we've had no intention to keep the playlist under our "Other" section, as some SFC Editorial videos have proven more popular than expected.
Starting today, ALL SFC Editorial videos have been redirected and rebranded into our current video series.
- All the tech editorials have been moved under The Software Room and The Computer Cellar.
- All of our gaming editorials have been moved under GameGuide.
- Half of the entertaining editorials have been moved under Shoppers Showcase and Railfan Central.
- The rest (mainly the sports editorials) are going under a new playlist, labeled "Other Videos", which also contains our update videos we've uploaded in the past, etc. This also means every single video we have on our YouTube channel now is under a playlist.
So, there you have it. Some of the changes are taking effect today, while some will be available in around early Summer 2018, where we should be back to full speed working on content for The SFC Group. We're very excited to be back once again, to work on content for almost everyone to enjoy.
Until then, thanks for taking the time to reading this, and we'll see you all next week!